Forklift - Forklift Truck
A forklift is a powered industrial truck used to lift and
transport materials. It is also called a lift truck, a
high/low, a stacker-truck, or a sideloader. The modern forklift
was developed in the 1920s by various companies including the
transmission manufacturing company Clark and the hoist company
Yale & Towne Manufacturing.
The forklift has since become an indispensable piece of
equipment in manufacturing and warehousing operations.
The middle 19th century through the early 20th century saw
the developments that led to today's modern forklifts. The
Pennsylvania Railroad in 1906 introduced battery powered
platform trucks for moving luggage at their Altoona,
Pennsylvania train station.
World War I saw the development of different types of
material handling equipment in the United Kingdom by Ransomes,
Sims and Jeffries of Ipswich. This was in part due to the labor
shortages caused by the war.
In 1917 in the United States Clark began developing and
using powered tractor and powered lift tractors in their
factories. In 1919 the Towmotor Company and then in 1920 Yale
& Towne Manufacturing entered the lift truck market in
the United States.
Continuing development and expanded use of the forklift
continued through the 1920s and 1930s. World War II, like World
War I before, spurred the use of forklift trucks in the war
Following the war, more efficient methods for storing
products in warehouses were being implemented. Warehouses
needed more maneuverable forklift trucks that could reach
greater heights. New forklift models were made that filled this